Statutory Disclosure in Article 280 of the Turkish Penal Code

Nursing Ethics 13 (6):573-580 (2006)
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A new Turkish Penal Code came into effect on 1 June 2005. Article 280 concerns health care workers’ failure to report a crime. This article removes the responsibility from health care workers to maintain confidentiality, but also removes patients’ right to confidentiality. It provides for up to one year of imprisonment for a health care worker who, while on duty, finds an indication that a crime might have been committed by a patient and who does not inform the responsible authorities about it. This forces the health care worker to divulge the patient’s confidential information. A patient who thinks he or she may be accused of a crime may therefore not seek medical help, which is the universal right of every person. The article is therefore contrary to medical ethics, oaths taken by physicians and nurses, and the understanding of patient confidentiality



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